Facelessness

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
What shall I call my current scenario as? Where am I? Who am I? What sort of a person I am? What is my position and purpose in Life's circle? The facelessness of identity is neither comfortable nor torturous. I am neither there, nor here.

Submitted: October 29, 2014

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Submitted: October 29, 2014

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"Only you are not here, nor there is any hope of your Arrival. If only you knew how your Existence broke the Fragile glass of my Heart. The gardens withered before they Blossomed. How tall you built the wall of Separation."

I walked where my feet took me. Clueless and aimlessly I wondered in the deserted streets. That fine morning, when nature and I, in our mutual agreement, complimented each other's meeting. I walked, I sat, I thought.  I had my breakfast in the local cafe, alone. Surprisingly, I didn't feel as lonely as I usually do. Afterwards, I walked back home.

The sun was now shining in it's full glory. The birds chirped, children played, and cars passed by. I continued to walk till I reached the edge of the park and climbed that small hill to reach the top. The view opened up to the small stadium below and a neglected lake adjacent to it, these two dominant features of the park were separated by some irregularly spaced patches of grass and cobbled pathways. It was an unpleasant but a peaceful sight. The old pine trees were scattered throughout the park. I sat under the tree, on soft grass which was still moist from the morning dew.

I opened my sketchbook and took a pen. Minutes went by, staring at the blank page. Nothing. Gradually, the park was became a very happening place, a school bus came filled with energetic teenagers followed by a few more school vans until the stadium appear to be quite flooded with young people as well as their parents. Interestingly, I had forgot all about today's match. I hastily stood up to find a more private spot and accidently dropped my sketchbook, in a process some of my sketches scattered. I grabbed them and quickly made my way down the hill and to the exit gate.

An hour later I reached my home. I opened the front door and dropped my bag at the kitchen table before taking off the coat. I caught a glimpse of my reflection on the mirror and paused. At twenty-four I felt like an old woman. Everything about me had now become a routine. Dining from the same cafe, walking the same roads and sketching on same A4-sized Canson sheets. It had been months since I last bought myself new clothes. And my coffee preference hadn't changed since years. I was working in a architectural firm as a junior assistant to another architect and my work resembled that of a secretary; cataloging and managing firm's various project details including the information and samples used as interior finishes in our recent projects. Staring at my reflection, I realized that nothing had changed much in my life since long. 

I turned on the stove for coffee and took out all the contents in my bag. I pulled the wooden chair and opened the kitchen window before sitting down. I picked all the used napkins and old cafe bills and threw them in the dustbin. Once nearly half of the original contents were thrown away and the table appeared reasonably clean I stood up to pour myself coffee which had brew reasonably well, considering the time I had taken to decide which bills and receipts are to be dumped and which are not. I sat again and took my time to review all my sketches that had previously been picked by me in the park. 

What amazed me was the quality of these sketches. They were realistic and sensitive. Though each of them were on a different subject, each one of them had one thing in common. They were all sketches about people caught in motion. Some were interacting with each other others appeared to be pre-occupied in their thoughts and situations. I reviewed them further and realized that they all showed my moods and state-of-mind at different times.

That night after dinner, I quickly retired to bed. I kept shifting, twisting and turning but nothing was helping me to go to sleep so I decided to go out in the back-garden for a small walk. I took my shawl and sat at the steps. I was so tired that I couldn't stroll. I wrapped the shawl tighter around me and began to listen to my surroundings.

It is strange indeed. Even silence has a voice. The cool wind, the rustling of the leaves and then ... nothing.I filtered all the sounds until I could only hear my heartbeat. I was at peace. Although my feet were getting cold and numb I felt at ease with myself. I had finally found the answer to all the emptiness that has been surrounding my life. I decided to look back at the sketches in the morning to figure out who I am and from where all this darkness has been coming from. And maybe I thought to myself, I will find out what I am truly passionate about. This appeared to be a reasonably good plan to shape the future policy of the course that would be taken from here onwards.

Next day I woke up with a strange headache. I made myself coffee and started the day with my usual morning ritual that included shower, breakfast and picking up the newspaper from the porch. While I was cleaning my kitchen table I made a self-note to review the sketches after the breakfast. I sat with the newspaper in one hand and my sandwich in the other. I began reading the newspaper with the cartoon strips and slowly skimmed through the letters to the editor section and then eventually landed on the last page where the weather report was beaming at me. I sighed to myself. It will be another rainy day.

After I had dressed up and I picked my keys, shovel all my sketches and head off to work. The day continued at the snail's pace and I couldn't help but to frown at my boss who was being nasty as always. It was an odd day for me. I was no longer indifferent about my job. I realized that I hated it long ago and with time it had become a routine rather than a passion. I would seldom envy my co-workers (architects) who were given design assignments. Even when these assignments were relatively small in scale they were still creative jobs and personally I would have loved to be a part of such projects rather than busying myself doing the most monotonous job in this firm. 

I took a bus back home rather than taking a walk. The rain was pouring heavily and weather would soon turn cold and frosty. I hated winters. I often wondered why I had stayed in this town in first place. My question was quickly answered. I reached home and felt warm again. Even when my life has been so dull, my home had always been like a sanctuary to me. It had accommodated all my good and bad times. It was spacious and convenient. I had arranged to suit my needs. Even when I never had an opportunity to design a house for some rich client, I was glad that I was able to do a good job in this house of mine.

I bought it quite cheap. It didn't had many amenities at its vicinity. I always had to walk at least an hour to get to the park and they was no mall nearby, only small neighborhood shops. But I loved it because it was the neighborhood of old and retire people, who lived their lives in peace and harmony. For whatever reason, they know the importance of time more than we youngster do And I absolutely adored how utterly blunt, expressive and at the same time caring they can be. So, in the end, why I lived here was because of my humble and loving neighbors. And everything eventually made sense in life when I learned to slow-it-down and live one moment at a time.

I was too tired to review my sketches which were still in my bag and retired myself to bed. Days followed and my increasing distaste with my job piled up by the end of the week. Weekend came and I excitedly exit my house to reach the local cafe for Sunday breakfast. It had been a long week for me and I had to now work on Saturdays as well to manage my taxes which were due next month. I ordered my breakfast and took all my sketches out. Cafes are never my favorite places to draw, I prefer outdoors but that day it was raining again and I was in no mood to spoil my sketchbook. I then took my coat off and placed it at the adjacent chair.

I sorted similar theme sketches on one side and the more vague ones on the other side. Soon my order was served and I took a break from this task. A few familiar faces waved passed by and my phone started to ring. My boss was calling me and it was Sunday! I took his call, minutes later I was rushing out of the cafe with my breakfast half-eaten and a few sketches mistakenly left at the table. When I came back to the cafe in the evening after work the cafe shutters were being pulled down. Frustrated and tired, I reached home. I had received a few calls from family to which I responded briefly.

Another week, another awful load of work awaited for me. I was asked to deliver some papers to the contractors on my way to work, this really put me off. By the time I reached home I was too tired to cook so I decided to order a pizza and showered and changed into my pajamas. I called the pizza-delivery service again to ask for the reason of my delay. Another ten minutes, I thought to myself and settled myself in couch with an old newspaper. Comic strips, weather forecast, entertainment section... it appeared that everything was my interest was already read by me so I turned to see the advertisement section. Something caught my attention and I quickly rushed to my study desk to flinch my highlighter pen. The doorbell rang and the delivery person apologized to me for the delay.After dinner, I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down 'things to do'. I need to get out of this lousy routine, and I need a plan, I thought to myself and scribbled before putting the pen down and retiring to bed.

Next morning, I woke up so late that I missed my bus to work and so I decided to call my boss and tell him that I will be late due some unexpected work. I took a walk to the my Sunday cafe and meet the accountant. First he was surprised to see on a Tuesday then he took a paper folder out his drawer and gave it to me. I thanked him for keeping my sketches safe and returned back home. Out of curiosity, I opened the brown folder that he had given me and note fell from it. The writer had obviously viewed my sketches thoroughly and had made an extraordinary effort in praising, criticizing and commenting on each of them. I was amazed how he or she had carefully studied these sketches and had pinned notes with each of the respective drawing.

It will be a very interesting day, I smiled to myself and decided to take a day off. I already had received this month's pay so I was relaxed that my extra-nosy boss will not cut my Saturday's extra wages for today's casual leave. I called him and informed him about it. He didn't take it nicely and started nagging me in the phone. After this brief yet unpleasant episode I resumed back to my the comments that I had received on my work. It was a constructive criticism. The writer must have been a writer himself/herself. 

By late-noon, I was packing my backpack and rushing to that hilltop for a long and peaceful sketching session. It was an entirely different experience from my usual Sunday sessions. Today, I saw mothers with their toddlers, old couples and what surprised me the most were the groups of housewives who had come for a tea-party. Today the park looked like a family park. There were no high-school teenagers nor was there any rush at the parking lot. It was more sunnier, brighter than ever.

The comments had just opened another window to my imagination. For a few minutes, I absorbed park's new aura. Today was a new day for me. Today, I shall relax and try to find what is it that makes me happy. Today was all dedicated to me. With these thoughts I began to explore myself. 

 

 


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